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Former Martin Mayor, Family Members, Others Indicted on Federal Vote Buying Charges

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

Vote Buying Indictment

LONDON, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Former Martin, Ky. Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson, her husband, step-son and three campaign workers have been indicted on federal vote-buying and civil rights conspiracy charges.

A federal grand jury in Pikeville indicted the six people on Thursday.

Ruth Robinson, James “Red” Robinson, James Steven Robinson, Ginger Michelle Halbert, Johnny T. Moore and Henry A. Mullins are each charged with civil rights conspiracy.

Ruth Robinson, James “Red” Robinson, Moore and Mullins are also charged with one count of vote buy.

James Steven Robinson is charged with three counts of vote-buying.

Federal prosecutors say the charges stem from the November 2012 General Election for Martin Mayor in which Robinson was seeking re-election.

According to the indictment, one or more of the defendants would approach residents of public housing and tenants of homes that Ruth Robinson owned, and request that they obtain an absentee ballot for the general election.

In many instances these residents were “poor, physically, mentally or developmentally disabled, and felt intimidated and coerced into complying with the instructions of the defendants with respect to voting," according to the indictment.

The indictment also charges that as part of the conspiracy one or more of the defendants threatened to evict residents and tenants that did not vote or did not vote as directed. Prosecutors say other voters were threatened with the loss of their job with the city.

Because the ballot included federal races, the case became a federal one.

All six are scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Pikeville on January 7.

Back in October the former mayor and Halbert were indicted on unrelated federal charges of social security fraud.

Both have pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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